Elemental Season 1 - Day 15


When I was in high school, I got the best job opportunity. It was the opportunity to work maintenance at the school. Doesn’t that sound good to you? Then you are not a 15-year-old boy with a driver’s permit and the hopes of driving the school’s truck and tractor all summer before he turned 15 years old. I figured I would be driving the tractor out on the fields to pick up the watering apparatus, and I hoped that I would be so good at it that they would want me to do it every day.

This was not the case, in fact, I did so poorly the first day I never got to do it again. I was an utter failure at this, so they had to find a new place for me. That place ended up being in the gym, in a couple of rooms they needed to demolish in order to put a weight room. So my job, for 3 solid weeks, was to tear down everything in those two rooms, even the walls, so they could create one big room that would house all of the weights that our new coach was to bring  in.

It was pretty exciting work, especially for a kid who had never worked in construction or deconstruction before. A buddy and I got some hammers, some sledgehammers, crowbars, and just about anything that could tear up a room. For three weeks we were asked to destroy walls, toilets (turn off the water first!), door jambs, and everything else you can think of. It was glorious!

We had a great time. Then we had to take it all out to throw out what we had destroyed. What we realized was that there were a ton of things that were valuable and could have been used in different settings or even in the same space in a different way, but we had destroyed them beyond recognition. Our boss wasn’t too happy, but he had worked with teenagers for a long time and took it in stride.

I guess the point that I learned from this is that when deconstructing, don’t destroy everything, because there might be some things that are worth keeping, repurposing, and reframing in ways that become useful to what you are left with.

You see, one of the issues is that there are certain assumptions that we have taken into our mature faith that need re-examining in order to understand in a more mature and faithful manner. We have sometimes been sold on the idea that what we learned in kindergarten is all that we need to know, and that we do damage to our faith to rediscover those truths in another, more mature setting. I think nothing could be further from the truth. To examine and re-examine our faith is the most faithful thing that we can do. We then become more familiar with what we believe and why. There are some things that might get left behind, but there are also new discoveries for us to find along the way, and those things might be what bolster our faith for the long haul.

  1. Have you ever deconstructed anything? What was it like? 
  2. What tools do you use for deconstruction? 
  3. Were you able to use any of the material you tore down to build something new? 
  4. Was that new thing even better than what you had before? 

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Doyle - May 21st, 2023 at 9:21am

Deconstruction not demolition

Phat - May 21st, 2023 at 11:56pm

So far elemental is uncomfortable for me…I can’t quite pin point exactly what is making me uncomfortable but I’m feeling kinda 😞